Poetic power: judges take note of Sarah Jaeger's talent

Launceston Church Grammar School year 6 pupil Sarah Jaeger won the Upper Primary award with her poem Death's Kaleidoscope.

Launceston Church Grammar School year 6 pupil Sarah Jaeger won the Upper Primary award with her poem Death's Kaleidoscope.

TWELVE year-old Sarah Jaeger has written about traumatic events in a Nazi-Germany concentration camp to wow judges in the national Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards.

The Launceston Church Grammar School year 6 pupil won the Upper Primary award with her poem Death's Kaleidoscope.

Sarah said she wrote the poem to remind people about the tragedies that took place in the concentration camps during World War Two.

She said she also had a family connection to the war; her grandfather was taken to Dachau, which was the first of the concentration camps to imprison Jews, political prisoners and foreign nationals.

''I like to teach people about the things that we have done wrong, how we can improve on them, and why we shouldn't do them again,'' she said.

''My grandfather was at Dachau.  He died before I was born.  He didn't really like to talk about Dachau but it makes me want to know about it more.''

Sarah said she gained her knowledge of the Holocaust by reading fictional books set during that time.

This included The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne, and Hana's Suitcase, by Karen Levine.

The Dorothea Mackellar judge's said they knew Death's Kaleidoscope was the winner after one reading.

''The maturity of Sarah's words, her vocabulary, the way she tells this achingly sad story and her knowledge of such a difficult subject, have all come together to create something truly special,'' they said.

''This poem should not be ignored.''

Sarah also won two highly commended awards for her poems Paradox and Right or wrong good or evil.

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